Paul Laverty drew on his experiences as a lawyer working with human rights groups in Nicaragua in writing the script for Carla’s Song, which stars Robert Carlyle as George, a Glasgow bus driver. Attracted to Carla (Oyanka Cabezas), a beautiful but impoverished Nicaraguan woman who often rides his bus, he sometimes allows her to ride for free—and is fired as a result. But he keeps in touch with Carla, helping her find a place to live in a spare room of a friend’s apartment after learning that she’s become detached from a dance troupe, forcing her to dance in the streets of Glasgow for meager remuneration. As they continue to see each other, George finds that Carla is subject to drastic mood swings, a result of her Sandinista boyfriend Antonio having been captured by the Contras. Realizing that nothing will be resolved until Carla discovers the truth about Antonio, George agrees to accompany her to Nicaragua to try to find him. Carlyle is typically excellent in this film by hard-hitting British filmmaker Ken Loach.
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it’s virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, he branched out into the theater, performing with a touring repertory company. This led to television, where in alliance with producer ‘Tony Garnett’ he produced a series of docudramas, most notably the devastating “Cathy Come Home” episode of “The Wednesday Play” (1964), whose impact was so massive that it led directly to a change in the homeless laws. He made his feature debut Poor Cow (1967) the following year, and with “Kes”, he produced what is now acclaimed as one of the finest films ever made in Britain. However, the following two decades saw his career in the doldrums with his films poorly distributed (despite the obvious quality of work such as The Gamekeeper (1968) (TV) and Looks and Smiles (1981… read more
English socialist filmmaker Ken Loach follows his critically acclaimed Spanish Civil War epic “Land and Freedom” by teaming with debut screenwriter Paul Laverty for this more intimate tale of love… read review